A heartwarming hug, exploited sex workers and all of the chaos and calamity caused by an increasing terrorist attacks and conflict. The annual World Press Photo travelling exhibition once again portrays milestones from the past year through the best works of photojournalism. The exhibition is on view until October 23rd at the Hungarian National Museum. If you just visit one show in Budapest this autumn, it should be this one.
With conflict constantly lurking, inviting humanity to reveal itself, our strange world is worth reflecting upon. Visiting this exhibition, you realise there is as much contrast on this planet as there are pictures. A walk around World Press Photo brings to mind the biggest news of the past year and helps remind you how different certain faiths can be. While one series of photos presents sisters growing up completely carefree in a small isolated bio-energy village in the heart of Europe, another shows how girls living nearly 5,000 kilometres away in eastern Cameroon need to suppress or reverse their breast development as this practice is believed to delay maturity and help prevent rape.
The winning photo of the competition, and the first one you see upon entering, was taken by Venezuelan photographer Ronaldo Schemidt of José Víctor Salazar Balza, engulfed in fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro.
This year, several photo series present the many terrorist attacks that took place during the past months. Those by US photographer David Becker show the aftermath of the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, when gruesome gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers. On March 22, Khalid Masood drove a rented SUV along the pavement of Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament in central London. UK photographer Toby Melville was at the right place at the right time to capture passers-by comforting and helping those injured in the attack.
On a more positive note, a stand-out series by Anna Boyiazis from the USA shows girls learning to swim off the coasts of Zanzibar wearing full-length swimsuits. Girls there are discouraged from learning this skill, largely because of the strictures of a conservative Islamic culture and the absence of modest swimwear.
A novelty for 2018 is that the exhibition also presents the winners of the Digital Storytelling category – their short films are on view in the room that divides the exhibition in half – and, as a new category, Environment has been introduced, with nature photos featuring in the second room.
Altogether 73,044 photos were entered for the competition by 4,548 photographers from 125 countries. An international jury then selected the best 134 photos for the travelling display. The photos are on view until October 23rd at the National Museum, with longer opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays. The accompanying exhibition collates the most beautiful nature photos from the past 25 years.